1950 Bulova Nightingale
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Thread: 1950 Bulova Nightingale

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  1. #1
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    1950 Bulova Nightingale

    Hi everyone,

    I've been looking at these forums for a while, but this is my first post. The forum has been very helpful in my search for a cheap but good mechanical watch. I bought a couple of Chinese models online, but they've been clunky and have broken after a year or so of use.

    This weekend, I picked up this little gem at a local thrift store for $8:

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    It's tiny - measuring 18mm in diameter. It has an "elastic" metal band:

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    The back has a numerical code and the words "Bulova Quality":

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    The Internet informed me that this is a Nightingale, and since the information I found dated the model to the 1940s and 1950s, I was very curious about exactly how old this thing is.

    I was apprehensive about opening the case to check, but my curiosity overwhelmed me. There was no case signature on the inside, so I moved on to the movement. Again, this thing is TIIIIIIIINY. Even with a jeweller's loupe, I had a hard time reading the stamps. There were no funky symbols like this page lists, but I did find "L0" stamped beside the word "Swiss", so I'm fairly sure that it's dated to 1950:

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    Some other photos of the movement:

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    Now, a couple of questions. The crystal face is very scratched and has hairline cracks all around it:

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    How can I find out the value of this watch to determine whether it's worth spending money to replace the crystal? Also, would replacing the crystal devalue the watch?


    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: 1950 Bulova Nightingale

    As far as I can tell, you're right with the 1950 designation based on the L0 movement stamp in the first picture.

    To determine the value, as far as what others will pay for it, the only reliable check is the going rate in online auctions. To determine if it's worth spending the money to replace the crystal, that decision is all you. If an $8 watch with a $40 replacement crystal keeps you from spending $50 on a junky watch, then it's money well spent.

    As for devaluing the watch, a new crystal was routine back in the day if the original got damaged. If you're really concerned, most places will give you back your broken crystal to keep if asked nicely.

    As a comparison, before:
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    And after a new crystal:
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  3. #3
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    Re: 1950 Bulova Nightingale

    Thank you, and thank you for the pictures! I love photos of people actually wearing their watches.

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  5. #4
    Member simpletreasures's Avatar
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    Re: 1950 Bulova Nightingale

    Very little change in these watches over the years. Crystal is probably around 15mm in size. Here are two ads for the "Nightingale", the first is from 1942, second is from 1951. I've seen the crystals for this watch for as little as $6.00Name:  nightingale.jpg
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